[SIGCIS-Members] Histories of Computing in Eastern Europe volume now available

Chris Leslie chrisleslienyc at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 20 06:05:38 PDT 2019

Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to announce that the proceedings volume from our Histories of Computing in Eastern Europe workshop in Poznan has been published by Springer. Details are available on their website: https://www.springer.com/cn/book/9783030291594

The Proceedings come from an event organized by IFIP Working Group 9.7 at the last IFIP World Congress. WG 9.7 is composed of industry professionals, historians, archivists, and others with an interest in the history of computing broadly defined. The contents of the volume are divided into six parts: 

1. EASTERN EUROPE. The papers in this section offer new glimpses into the history of computing in Armenia, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. For instance, Szabo offers a compelling portrait of a computing class conducted with a chalkboard in Hungary.

Armenian Computers: First Generations
Sergey B. Oganjanyan, Valery V. Shilov, and Sergey A. Silantiev

The Emergence of Computing Disciplines in Communist Czechoslovakia: What’s in a (Sovietized) Name?
Michal Doležel and Zdeněk Smutný

László Kalmár and the First University-Level Programming and Computer Science Training in Hungary
Máté Szabó

2. POLAND. These papers were part of our collaboration with the Polish Information Processing Society and the Enigma Live event in Poznan.

Early Computer Development in Poland
Marek Hołyński

The Long Road toward the Rejewski-Różycki-Zygalski Cipher Center
Marek Grajek

3. SOVIET UNION. A highlight of these papers is co-authored by the children of two great names in the USSR: Anatoly Kitov and Victor Glushkov. They challenge the notion that Soviet computer science was a failure because it did not result in an ARPA-style national network. Kitov also details his own work in the first article to discuss Soviet control programs that monitored data transfer between multiple terminals for collaborative work.

Anatoly Kitov and Victor Glushkov: Pioneers of Russian Digital Economy and Informatics
Olga V. Kitova and Vladimir A. Kitov

On the History of Gosplan, the Main Computer Center of the State Planning Committee of the USSR
Vladimir A. Kitov

Main Teleprocessing Monitors for Third-Generation Computers in the USSR
Vladimir A. Kitov

4. COCOM AND COMECOM. Sikora and Schmitt offer extended examinations of the permutations of the cold war blockades based on their archival research. My own paper, an outgrowth of my presentation to TC 9 in 2014 for the Turku Human Choice in Computing workshop, rounds out the group.

Socialist Life of a U.S. Army Computer in the GDR’s Financial Sector
Martin Schmitt 

Cooperating with Moscow, Stealing in California: Poland’s Legal and Illicit Acquisition of Microelectronics Knowhow from 1960 to 1990
Mirosław Sikora

From CoCom to Dot-Com: Technological Determinisms in Computing Blockades, 1949 to 1994
Christopher Leslie

5. ANALOG COMPUTING. Two papers about computing before digital computing. Leipälä, Shilov, and Silantiev also include a translation of the book they found in their appendix.

Israel Abraham Staffel: Lost Book Is Found
Timo Leipälä, Valery V. Shilov, Sergey A. Silantiev

Mathematicians at the Scottish Café
Chris Zielinski 

6. PUBLIC HISTORY. Bodrato, Caruso, and Cignoni demonstrate what insights can be gleaned by their project of collecting and reverse-engineering early hardware. Smolevitskaya offers not just an overview of an archive but has also painstakingly tallied Rameev’s inventions, including the iterations of Ural computers.

Discovering Eastern Europe PCs by Hacking Them ... Today
Stefano Bodrato, Fabrizio Caruso, Giovanni A. Cignoni 

Twentieth Anniversary of the Russian Virtual Museum of Computing and Information Technology History
Vladimir A. Kitov and Edward M. Proydakov

ICT History Study as Corporate Philanthropy in Latvia
Inara Opmane and Rihards Balodis 

The Engineering Heritage of Bashir Rameev at the Polytechnic Museum: Honoring the 100th Anniversary of His Birth
Marina Smolevitskaya 

WG 9.7 meets roughly every other year; more information about our past workshops is available on our website (http://ifipwg97.org). Our next meeting will hopefully be in Asia in 2020 … more information on that coming soon. 


Chris Leslie 
Chair, IFIP Working Group 9.7 - History of Computing
Lecturer, School of Foreign Languages, South China University of Technology 

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